Volunteer in Biological Research Abroad

Back to Programs

Volunteering Abroad in Biological Research

From ecological preservation, assisting with animal research, or even providing support for  disease research, volunteering in biological research abroad has a myriad of options to take you all over the world. With a broad choice of applications and locations, every experience is different, but biology volunteer work abroad all centers on the unique opportunity to donate your time and knowledge to deserving projects in need of extra hands, minds, and smiling faces. For those with a philanthropic disposition, becoming a biology volunteer abroad in places in need of conservation of their precious ecosystems will truly be a life changing choice.

Why Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering in biological research abroad will change your scope of the world. While learning biological concepts in the classroom is certainly valuable and necessary, nothing can top authentic first hand experience in a new and exciting environment. Whether in a laboratory or out in the field, lending a hand is a humbling experience, and one that can teach you new research skills, ways of communication, and different methods of thought. All scientists should take the opportunity to become a biology volunteer abroad.

In a field as diverse as biological research, which encompasses marine biology, conservation biology, and a myriad of other important biological applications, including medical and veterinary work, international volunteer experience shows employers, graduate schools, and research fellowships that you actively seek out hands-on opportunities to use your technical knowledge to better the world. 


Choosing a location for your biological research abroad may be the most challenging aspect of planning your trip, as there is no shortage of locations in which active biological research takes place. Traveling to an endangered or at-risk ecosystem appeals to many students who want to be a biology volunteer abroad.

For this reason, South America is a popular choice. Biological research done in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia in the Amazon rainforest includes identification of rare plants and animals, predator research, and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover one of the world’s most biodiverse areas. Biological research abroad can be completed through conservation efforts through private institutions or with government organizations, both of which are popular options in South America as well. 

SouthEast Asia. The tropical climates of Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos draw in many biology volunteers. Marine conservation on the coasts is a valuable experience that can expose you to unique oceanic habitats and associated rare inhabitants. Some species in the rainforest of Southeast Asia has been damaged or changed by recent natural disasters as well, so biology volunteers in these areas will have the distinctive experience of helping rebuild habitats or study the effects of natural disasters on the environment. Whether in the sea or on land, Asia has plenty of opportunities to volunteer in biological research while learning about life halfway across the world.

Africa. Consider working as a biology volunteer abroad in an African country, such as South Africa or Kenya. Biological volunteering at animal sanctuaries in these countries, including doing research on treatment and rehabilitation, feeding, and daily lives, appeals to animal lovers or those looking to become veterinary researchers especially. Biology volunteers in Africa can also aid in the development of environmentally sustainable policies to shape the way these countries interact with their environments as they grow, or volunteering in a medical facility helping with public health education, spreading important information about how biological research and health issues affect all species. 

Biological Research Volunteering Abroad

Structure & Responsibilities. Depending on your focus, your experience as a biology volunteer abroad can look very different. The majority of biological research abroad provides volunteers with field experience to add to their resume. In this case, volunteers partner with a biology volunteer program and are typically assigned or given a choice of projects to work on. Active field research volunteers should expect to be outdoors, collecting or investigating plant or animal life for a portion of the day, then making observations and drawing conclusions about their work. Much of this biological research abroad is completed in groups with other international volunteers. 

Animal Volunteering & Conservation. Biology volunteering in these areas will probably take place at a zoo or an animal sanctuary. Volunteers will help with the feeding and caretaking of various animals, from anemones to zebras, and observing their behavior for long-term projects. Volunteering with marine animal life takes the same structure, but underwater. It’s important to note that conservation volunteer work can be physically demanding as well as intellectually demanding.

Duration & Experience. The length of your biology volunteer placement is fairly flexible, though most organizations require a two to three week commitment to ensure you will have time to finish a small project or observational period. Volunteering in biological research abroad for longer periods of time, like a sizeable portion of a summer break, is more popular, as it allows the biology volunteer to take on more responsibility with the organization of their choice. Becoming a biology volunteer abroad usually requires no prior experience, but many volunteer programs will be checking to see if volunteers have completed relevant biology, botany, or wildlife courses.


  • Purposeful Passion. If you’re pursuing a career in biological research after graduation, a summer volunteer trip or even volunteering for one to three weeks during a school break, can work in your favor when it comes to the eyes of your employers. Biological research is a discipline where field experience truly matters. In contrast to studying abroad, volunteering in biological research abroad involves a singular project of focus, typically based in the field, and possibly coupled with laboratory work. This focused international experience, completed for the benefit of others and mother nature, shows potential employers you have dedicated valuable time to field work. Biological researhc abroad also shows you are willing to take on challenges, such as those that come with living abroad, working amid foreign languages, and learning a new educational culture, all for the sake of your passion for biology.
  • Amp Up Your Vet/Med School Application. Furthermore, those with biology degrees who are applying for veterinary or medical schools after graduation will benefit from volunteer experience in biological research as well. Veterinary and medical schools look for well-rounded applicants with philanthropic attitudes, and doing biological research abroad can illustrate both.
Read More

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Biological Research


479 Biological Research Volunteer Abroad Programs


This listing has been saved 164 times

Engage in Biological Research through a volunteering program from GoEco. The program will improve volunteers' understanding of a wide range of wildlife and provide them with opportunities to meet respected experts in their field of study. Participants can also take part in exhilirating adventured offered around the world.


This listing has been saved 87 times

Shadow doctors 20+ hours a week in Spain through the Atlantis Fellowship. 1-8 week Fellowships during winter, spring, or summer breaks.


This listing has been saved 12 times

Contribute to Biological Research in volunteering programs from IVHQ. The programs are ideal for volunteers interested in Environmental Research, Conservation, and Eco-Agriculture Studies. Volunteers can get involved in an environmental project that endeavors to preserve marine life and archeological ruins.


This listing has been saved 249 times

Love Volunteers has provided thousands of volunteers with the chance to travel abroad and volunteer where help is really needed. Love Volunteers provides safe, responsible, affordable Biological Research volunteer programs for volunteers who want a truly memorable experience abroad. Check out our exciting program options!


This listing has been saved 90 times


Play a hands-on role in the long-term conservation of African wildlife on this expedition. Enjoy first-class wildlife viewing and live on a game reserve in the heart of Southern Africa. This conservation expedition give you the opportunity to participate in wildlife monitoring projects. You will learn how to radio track, and possibly get involved with the darting and fitting of radio tracking c...


This listing has been saved 76 times

Contribute to Biological Research programs through Projects Abroad. Volunteers can get involved in these projects while immersing in a unique culture. Volunteers receive excellent in-country support services from Projects Abroad staff, ensuring that their experience will be worthwhile, fun, and safe.


This listing has been saved 65 times

Through this project you not only get the chance to take amazing wildlife and magnificent landscape portraits, raising money for conservation projects, but your work will also be noticed, shared and used in various marketing drives. Your photos will support research and be used as part of the identification process of the animals on the 2 local reserves you will work between. You will have ...


This listing has been saved 6 times

Work on Biological Research projects in volunteering placements with Kaya Responsible Travel. Volunteers can work at a biological preservation foundation committed to habitat restoration and research. Participants can acquire new language skills while engaged in the program.


This listing has been saved 40 times

Get involved in Biological Research through volunteering programs from Connect-123. Volunteer work opportunities are offered through nonprofit organizations, local companies, research institutes, schools, and healthcare clinics. Volunteers can participate in supplementary academic and internship programs.


This listing has been saved 137 times


Help out at a horse refuge run by a family dedicated to equine care for the past 20 years. Volunteers will help feed the animals, clean their stalls and offer general help with running the refuge. Are you interested in caring for other kinds of animals? Tell us which ones and our partners in Argentina can try to match you with an organization looking for animal lovers with big hearts and helpin...


This listing has been saved 212 times

With more than 400 projects worldwide and with 25 years experience of providing ethical travel placements, Frontier can find you the perfect adventure whatever you want to achieve. We offer placements in more than 50 countries including Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji and loads more. Here are just some of the options available: Marine Conservation and Diving Travel to beach paradises, scuba...


This listing has been saved 7 times

Our Wildlife Volunteer Program is truly exciting and an experience of a lifetime. During this wildlife conservation program, you will get the chance to take part in animal identification and tracking through game drives as well as many other amazing activities. Your duties will include reserve management and maintenance, assisting in game capture, birding orientation and classification, helping...


This listing has been saved 50 times

An unbeatable conservation programme focused on the conservation and care of black rhino and elephants in Zimbabwe. Work closely to support the breeding of these endangered animals and get hands on conservation experience, as well as learning about anti-poaching and game park management. Volunteers at this project make a huge difference to the running of the game park, which has been owned by t...


This listing has been saved 46 times

ISA Service-Learning provides students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn first-hand about social issues that communities around the world face. By partnering with community-based organizations and following a structured, reflection-based curriculum, you will learn how local professionals and experts are addressing these issues with the available resources while developing intercultu...


The great white shark- the notorious villain of the sea- is often the world’s favourite misunderstood animal. Join this programme to spend your time monitoring these magnificent creatures and do your bit to help their conservation. Cage diving with sharks is an amazing experience. It gives you the opportunity to see sharks in their natural habitat. They are graceful and powerful animals, but...